In 1926, J. B. Chapman launched The Preacher’s Magazine as « a journal devoted to the interests of those called to preach the full gospel. » He went on to describe, in his first editorial, that this magazine was never intended to serve only Nazarenes, but be open to all preacher’s in the Wesleyan-Holiness tradition. « The central purpose will be to help preachers to preach holiness effectively where they are…, » wrote Chapman.
At the time he wrote this editorial, Chapman could not have imagined 40,000 Nazarene clergy globally, or the number of languages and cultures that would impact their preaching, and most certainly, he could not have begun to grasp the technology that would make instant international communication with these pastors possible. We now have a unique opportunity to provide a resource to and a dialogue between pastors across six global regions and countless languages and cultures.
Several years ago, Preacher’s Magazine stopped being printed and mailed to pastors in the USA/Canada. In recent years, this publication has brought the best resources from past issues. With the launch of this issue, Preacher’s Magazine will not only begin generating new content again, but it will seek contributions from all six global regions, play a role in writer development, and seek sermons and resources in a wide range of languages – all to be shared globally with the ever increasing online community and within this ever changing technological environment. In addition, a downloadable version will be available for those who prefer to read a hardcopy – or have limited access to the Internet.
These are real sermons written by real Wesleyan-Holiness preachers, who get their hands dirty weekly in the messiness of practical ministry in pulpits around the globe, yet proclaim holiness with clean hearts. They are not academic exercises in perfecting the sermon. They are the product of hardworking pastors (many bi-vocational) from a cross-section of preachers through the international network of Nazarene congregations, who weekly work out the best possible way to preach the gospel to their congregation in cultural context.
You may read a sermon and think – I could never preach that to my people, or in that style – it isn’t me – my congregation wouldn’t understand it. Then you may read another sermon that completely resonates with you and your present situation, when just before you flip to the next sermon, you read something that sparks an idea in your own process that will encourage you in your journey to find the best way to preach to the congregation that God and the church have entrusted to your care.
Preacher’s Magazine has gone through a number of significant transitions in its nearly 90 years of existence. This one is admittedly an experiment – and we will be learning together as we move forward.
It is an experiment – in engaging our online global network across regions and language barriers
It is an experiment – in writer development – not simply reverting back to the same old voices all the time but to hear from the rank and file and to develop these new, usually unheard from, and often young voices
It is an experiment – in preaching at every level: from the grassroots street pastors, to pastors of churches large and small, and even regional leaders and general superintendents of the denomination…
It is an experiment – to hear voices not only from the urban and suburban churches in metropolitan areas around the world, but also from the rural communities and small villages where Christ is preached and holiness proclaimed weekly…
It is an experiment – to learn and grow from each other and to extend this experience with preachers in sister denominations and like-minded preachers of holiness regardless of their affiliation…
It is an experiment– in engaging social media in the process of creating a lively dialogue about the art of preaching holiness to new generations and new culture groups.
In closing, I am reminded of the lyrics to one of my favorite songs, the classic Cole Porter song of 1933, « Experiment »…
« Experiment – Make it your motto day and night
Experiment – And it will lead you to the light
Experiment, be curious
Though interfering friends may frown
Get furious at each attempt to hold you down
If this advice you only employ
The future can offer you infinite joy and merriment
We welcome you on this experimental journey to create a Preacher’s Magazine that will inspire each pastor’s heart with a passion for preaching for decades to come, especially yours.
With messy hands and a clean heart,